Disclaimer: I do not own any characters in this story. Except for once again, the obvious ones. This all takes place during "Out in the Hills: The Story of the Hare". Now, we focus on The White Rabbit/Nivens McTwisp.
PS, there are no Scottish slang terms. Scottish readers, I'm sorry I cannot butcher your language once more…I liked doing that.
It was a calm morning like any other in the castle of the White Queen, Mirana of Marmoreal. A young, white male rabbit woke up in his bed chambers and stretched out his arms with a large yawn. He sleepily climbed out of bed and hopped over to the small window on the other side of the room. He stood back on his hind legs and opened the lace curtains allowing the light to flood the room. He sighed. Today was not a good day, he could feel it.
This young rabbit was known as Nivens McTwisp. He lived in the castle of the White Queen with his rather large rabbit family. He father, a page of the White Queen was becoming rather ill to which the Queen could not find a way to heal him. Nivens' mother passed away several years ago, but bore her husband, Rupert plenty of children. Rupert and Amelia McTwisp had nine children to be exact.
In this order they were born, Anita, Rita, Tina, Rina, Nivens, Betina, Belina, Jessica, and Sandra. Nivens, was the only boy born in the family and he was born smack in the middle. He didn't mind being the only boy, however. He enjoyed spending sunny afternoons in the castle courtyard hopping and playing with his sisters. They would roll around in the clovers play hide-and-seek amongst the brambles and played tag along the edge of the river bank.
On some occasions, they would all play several different instruments together forming their own little band for which the loyal subjects enjoyed listening to. Nivens of course, loved the trumpet most of all. It was loud, but not too loud. It had a nice brassy sound, but not too harsh. Nope, the trumpet was perfect just as he. Ever since he could remember, everything was always kept neat and tidy. He couldn't stand even a single pair of pants on the floor of his bed chamber. As the other girls teased him of his slight obsessive compulsive disorder, he was folding and hanging their dresses and blouses without a second thought.
Nivens always jumped at the chance to help the Queen when necessary now that he was in training to take his father's place as the official White page. When he wasn't training or running errands, he would either play with his sisters or if he could, the White Queen's daughter, the lovely Lily.
Lily had her mother's loving and cheery disposition and soft face. She had long sleek dark brown hair and the most stunning ice blue eyes, resembling her father's. Her loving father, King Hector had passed away after defending his wife and daughter of the slithy tothes that had slinked their way onto the castle grounds looking for a little girl to snack on. Hector fought them off for a long time before a large one attacked him from behind, severing his neck. Mirana was deeply upset, but found comfort in knowing that her husband was in a much happier place and Lily was safe in her arms.
Since the day Lily was born, Nivens was entranced by her beauty and despite the overwhelming difference between the two of them, he vowed to one day take her as his bride.
The only thing that spoiled his plans was Lily's older brother, the White Knight, Charles. He was a kind enough young man, but didn't seem to care for the idea of his little sister marrying a rabbit. However, this story is not about Charles' opinion and we should allow Nivens to dream his childish dreams of marrying the princess.
Later, after Nivens had gotten himself dressed and cleaned up, he noticed something unusual as he wandered down the hallway. The hallway appeared as it should, but it was very quiet. On normal days, his sisters were giggling excitedly as they fixed their bows and their blouses for morning tea, but this was not a normal morning at all. He continued to wander through the halls only to be met with more silence.
"Peculiar." Nivens said to himself in his light English accent looking into his sisters' empty chamber. Their beds were extremely unkept, even more than usual. His heart began to pound and he took off in a run towards his fathers' room, but he, too was missing. That was very odd. His father was always stuck in bed and his wheelchair was in the corner.
Nivens' soft brown eyes darted around the room in worry and he sprinted down the hall heading for the White Queen's throne room. He only arrived to find Queen Mirana sobbing softly on the steps of the throne. Nivens hopped over to her side before bowing in her presence.
"Your majesty?" he spoke up softly as not to startle her.
"Oh! McTwisp!" she said quickly drying her eyes. "I thought you'd be missing with the others." She said. Nivens cocked his head.
"Missing with the others? Your majesty, what do you mean?" he asked. She pulled out a red slip of paper in the shape of a heart. It was clearly from the Red Queen, Iracebeth of Crims. The letter read,
"To my little sister,
My knave and my men have taken your precious rabbits under my decree that they are to be slain for being filthy, worthless vermin along with the mice and the hares in the hills. There are to be no exceptions and no safe places for your beloved rabbits. To make this even more interesting, I have taken your lovely Lily to live with me. However, should she choose to defy me and my wishes, she will lose her head along with the vermin. Have a pleasant day,
"No!" Nivens cried. "Never fear, my Queen! I will save my family and the princess!"
"How?" Mirana asked.
"I shall fight off the cards! Off with their heads! Off with their heads, I say!" he yelled in delight. "I shall defeat them with the sword of might, the sword of swords, the Vorpal sword."
"The Vorpal sword has been taken, too, Nivens." Mirana said. Suddenly, Nivens didn't feel so brave. Without the Vorpal sword, the mighty sword to be used to slay the Jabberwocky on Frapjous Day, was taken to the Red Queens' castle.
"All hope is not lost." Mirana reassured the young rabbit. "You may accompany Charles in the retrieval of my daughter and your family."
"Thank you your majesty. I will do everything in my power to get them safely back to Marmoreal." He saluted before heading to the stables where surely he could find the White Knight suiting his horse. He was correct. When he arrived at the stables, Charles was finishing strapping on his horse's armor.
"Are you ready for the daring rescue?" Charles asked flipping his long blonde hair back and putting on his helmet.
"I'm ready whenever you are, Charles." His horse, Lewis replied as Charles threw his leg over the other side of Lewis' saddle.
"Wait! I'm coming with you!" Nivens said hopping onto the back of the horse. Charles laughed.
"But, Nivens, what's a kit like you going to do to save them? You haven't a sword, armor, or a shield." Charles reminded him. Nivens frowned.
"You with a sword is equal to the strength that I've got without one." Nivens replied irritated by Charles' comment. Lewis let out a laugh in agreement. It was true. Charles knew this. He thought himself as more of an inventor, but the White Kingdom needed a champion especially now that the kingdom was getting ever closer to falling into the hands of the Red Queen.
"Alright, you may come along. The more the merrier, I suppose." Charles said. "Ya!" he yelled as he kicked Lewis' sides to get him to gallop towards the Red Queen's castle in Crims. As they journeyed ever closer to the castle, Nivens thought of all sorts of terrible things he was afraid would happen.
They would arrive at the Red Queen's castle and see in the bloody moat that the beautiful Lily's head was floating with the other unfortunate souls along with the heads of his sisters' and his father's. Then, they would be captured by the guards and his and Charles' heads would soon follow. One terrible thought after another, they were flooding the poor, frightened rabbit's head.
Although, he was horribly afraid and wanted to turn around and run, he knew that he had to save them. He would love to die to save his family. He would gladly lie down his life to save theirs', especially Lily's. Lily was only a little girl no older than the age of four. Nivens himself was nine-years old and even though he was only a kit, he, in his mind was Lily's sworn protector.
Finally, they approached the castle. Charles tried to dismount, but clumsily fell on his head. Nivens hopped off Lewis' back beside Charles and helped him up. Wasn't the first time he's fallen off his own horse.
"Now, I have a plan." Charles said in a soft tone. "You find a way inside and locate your family and my sister, get them out and we'll meet back here." Nivens smiled and nodded. Suddenly he stopped smiling and glared at him.
"Why do I have to do all the work?" Nivens protested.
"Do you really want me to go in with you?" Charles asked. Nivens shrugged. The Knight did have a point. He'd probably run into a wall and give them away. They'd have the guards on them for sure. "I'll help you and the others make your escape." He said.
"Okay." Nivens said taking a deep breath. "I'm going in." He hopped up carefully to the edge of the bloody moat and with one great leap, he landed on the other side at the base of the white, brick wall. He looked around examining the wall until he found a crack that he could just fit through. He shoved his head through and wriggled the rest of his body through the crack so that he was now on the other side of the wall beneath the hedges of the croquet court.
Nivens swiftly and silently hopped through the hedges along the wall, but had to freeze when he saw the knave and several card soldiers marching through an opening of the wall. Nivens sighed. His mission would now be so much easier now that the Red Queen's champion was gone. His mission was easier, but still not easy.
He continued on hopping through the hedges until he reached the large wood door of the castle. He looked around to make sure no one was watching and opened the large door ever so slightly with a soft creak. He poked his head in and made a quick look around. Luckily, no one could be seen and he slipped right in. He knew that now that he was on the Red Queen's land, there was nothing stopping her from removing his head. As he wandered through the halls, he remembered that decree for all rabbits, mice, and hares to be slain because she saw them as filthy vermin.
There had to be another reason for the decree other than, Iracebeth just felt like having them killed for no reason at all. He would get to the bottom of that mystery another time when his life wasn't at stake.
He moved along the cool brick wall and glanced around the corner. Still, he saw no one. He scratched his head. "Peculiar. This seems to be déjà vu." He said to himself. Just then, he heard the thundering walking of the card soldiers heading down a nearby hallway. Nivens quietly followed the noise and gasped.
Nearly ten card soldiers were escorting his sisters and his father in chains. Perhaps, they were leading them down to the dungeon where he could make their great escape. Nivens smiled at the thought of this nightmare being over and followed the soldiers. The soldiers were not heading down any flights of stairs, they were going up. Nivens smile was slowly fading away as he continued to follow them, he did not like where this was going and he had a sinking feeling of what was going on.
The soldiers made one final turn up a flight of spiral stairs. Nivens stayed behind at a safe distance and once the card soldiers were out of his sight, he realized that they had exited through a wooden trap door. Nivens gulped and shut his eyes as he slowly creaked open the trap door to sneak a peek. To his dismay, it was the roof, where the executions were held. He quickly opened the trap door and dashed into a shadow before anyone could see him.
The Red Queen entered on her balcony and took a seat in her chair. One of her subjects tapped her on the shoulder.
"Will the king be joining us for this execution, your majesty?" a woman with rather large ears asked. The Red Queen glanced over her shoulder at her.
"No. Sadly, he is still in a coma from that nasty fall he had the other day." She said as she turned back to face the McTwisp family in chains below. "Lily, dear, sit beside me." She said. Lily, looking miserable sat beside the Red Queen in a frilly red and yellow dress wearing a gold tiara adorned with small heart-shaped rubies.
"Yes, Aunt Iracebeth." Lily replied as she twiddled her fingers. Nivens smiled and let out a sigh of relief. At least Lily wasn't in chains somewhere. She was a very brave little girl and he loved that about her as well. He shook his head to relieve himself of his daydreams and focused on the task at hand. He ran through the options of rescuing his family.
His first option, he could try to fight the card soldiers and help his family make his escape, but there were ten of them and many others on standby. He wouldn't be able to take out all of them. His second option was causing a distraction and leading the cards to chase after him, giving his family a chance to escape, but there was a great chance that they wouldn't be able to get away, he'd get caught, and they would all be killed. Not to mention he was risking Lily's life as well. He was trying to frantically come up with another plan that wouldn't endanger his family or risk Lily getting hurt or killed, but none of his plans were going to work.
The Red Queen stood up. "Off with their heads!" she ordered. The card soldiers and her subjects cheered. Lily clapped sadly, tears rolling down her face. She only clapped so as not to enrage her aunt. Nivens, was helpless as his father was first lead to the stone platform and positioned. After a moment of silence, the axe fell down, decapitating his father.
Nivens couldn't believe this was happening. He sat down in disbelief, hid his head in his knees and cried as one by one, his sisters were executed. He couldn't do anything to save them. He had no weapon, no strength, and he had simply run out of time. Finally, the Red Queen declared the executions over and everyone headed back inside. Nivens stuck his head out after the card soldiers had left.
"Aunt Iracebeth." Lily said before heading inside.
"Yes, my dear?" the Red Queen replied putting her hands on her knees to get to her level.
"I um…want to take one last smell of uh…victory of the vermins." Lily said trying to sound evil. Iracebeth smiled and patted the child on the head.
"Take all the time you need, sweetheart." She replied. Once Iracebeth was out of sight, Lily sighed and carefully climbed down the narrow staircase to where the McTwisp family once stood. Lily got to her knees and held her head in her hands and cried. Nivens couldn't stand to see her upset and he saw his opportunity to get her out of here. Nivens quickly hopped over to her.
"Nivens?" Lily asked excitedly, "I thought, you were killed!" she said wrapping her little arms around him. Her tears of sadness were now replaced by tears of joy.
"I thought you were, too, but now we have to get you out of here." Nivens said taking her by the hand. He led her down the same way he got up there and helped her sneak through the hedges once they got there. However, the crack in the wall was much too small for a young child to fit through.
"Oh no! Now what do we do?" Lily asked. Nivens examined the wall and tapped on it. The wall itself really didn't seem that thick. If he kicked hard enough a couple of times, he might be able to break away enough brick to get her through.
"Lily, back away. I'm kicking at the wall." Nivens informed.
"Be careful, Nivens." Lily replied. Nivens leaned back on his front paws and kicked, breaking away the slightest bit of rock, but definitely not enough. Just then, the one thing that was in the back of both of their minds made itself crystal clear. A shrill cry broke the silence.
"LILY!" The Red Queen screamed. All at once, red card soldiers ran around in search of the girl, trying to be sure of blocking any potential exits. "LILY! WHEN I FIND YOU,YOU WILL LOSE YOUR HEAD!" she screamed again.
"Hurry, Nivens!" Lily said in a frightened tone. They were running out of time at an alarming rate. Nivens kicked at the wall breaking away more rock, but still the hole was too small. He kicked again. Then again, but still it wasn't big enough. Lily screamed as a red card soldier snatched Lily out of the bushes. Nivens delivered one more kick and it was perfect, but now Lily had been captured.
Suddenly, Nivens was swiped up by the scruff of his neck.
"One of the rabbits got away." One of the card soldiers obviously stated. Just then a swing of a large silver sword swooped and knocked the soldier's head clean off. Again, the sword cut off the head of the soldier holding Lily.
"You bet one of the rabbits got away." Charles said in his gleaming silver armor.
"Charles!" Nivens and Lily cried happily.
"The one and only." Charles said proudly as more soldiers marched their way. "Now, hurry! Get on Lewis' back." He said helping his sister and Nivens get on. Unfortunately, he swung the wrong leg over and realized that he had mounted on his horse backwards. "Wait, I have to turn around." Charles said starting to try to reposition himself. Nivens looked over his shoulder in horror at the approaching swarm of cards.
"No time! Go!" Nivens cried, "To Marmoreal!" And Lewis took off like a bolt of lightning out of the reach of the evil Queen. Night fell as they approached the White Queens' castle. Mirana herself was standing just outside awaiting their return.
"Mommy!" Lily cried happily at the sight of her mother waiting.
"Lily?" Mirana called. Lily giggled as Lewis came to a stop and Charles lifted her off. Lily ran to her mother. Mirana lifted her into her arms.
"Mommy!" Lily cried latching onto her mother.
"Lily. Oh thank goodness you're alright." She said, tears of joy running down her face as she stroked her daughter's dark hair. "I am so glad that you are safe." She then looked up at her son getting down from his horse. "And my Charles…" Suddenly, he fell onto his back. Lily giggled. Lewis shook his head in embarrassment. "Well done, brave knight." She said giving him a hug. Charles kneeled.
"Thank you, mother."
"Nivens," Mirana asked, "you're family…they…didn't make it?" Nivens shook his head.
"There…there was nothing I could do." A large tear fell to the ground and Nivens ears lowered.
"I am so very sorry for your loss, but I thank you for your bravery in rescuing my daughter and the vorpal sword. You have done a great deed, Nivens McTwisp." The White Queen said.
"But at what cost?" Nivens added. "I lost my entire family. I'm…I'm all alone." Nivens said. As smoke rose over the horizon. "That's coming from the hills!" Nivens exclaimed. The Queen lowered her head.
"I sent many of the soldiers to go save the hares, but…I fear…they were defeated. We were…we were too late."
"So, what…I'm the last rabbit in all of Underland?" Nivens asked.
"I'm afraid…you may be. I'm hopeful that perhaps one or two others have survived. It's not impossible and we must not lose faith. These are dark times, but we must be strong for those who need strength and the will to carry on." The Queen explained. There was an uncomfortable silence as they all watched the smoke grow larger and larger on the horizon.
"Mommy?" Lily said breaking the silence.
"Yes, my darling?" Mirana asked.
"Can I wear a not ugly dress?" Lily said looking at the red frilly dress she was still wearing. The White Queen laughed.
"Of course. Let us all go inside. We cannot dwell on the past. We can only prepare for the future." She said as her, Lily, and Charles walked inside. Nivens was closely following before he stopped and looked over his shoulder at the smoke. "You coming…page?" Mirana asked with a smile. Nivens smiled and ran inside.
"At your service your majesty!" he replied picking up his trumpet on the stairs and blowing a few declarative notes. The official page of the White Queen was ready to get started.
A/N: I hope that you enjoyed the introduction of Nivens. I cried my eyeballs out as I typed this. I got my eyeballs back after having to fend off a hoard of ninjas in my schools' common computers area. It's rather hard to fight ninjas when you're blind you know. It's even more difficult to write fanfiction without eyeballs. Anyway, I'll continue the origins of Underland before Alice first falls down the rabbit hole. Later on I'll get to after the second time she fell through which I suppose is considered the time of the looking-glass. More sadness, love, and emotion coming soon!